Clou'neer & the Dream of Asgard
With heavy eyes, Arialita stood up from where she had fallen asleep. She wondered about the paradise she has found herself in further. It was peaceful and quite… To the one side where she stood upon a hill she could see the ruins of an ancient City, maybe more like a large temple or hall, and to her left she could make out three trees. One of the three stood further away from the other two, closer to the edge of the horizon and to her back when she glanced over she could see the ever greater Hall she knew, but something called her to the first…
When she neared the temple, a broken tablet that laid on the ground caught her attention: ’…Leita Fróðleikr Leita Speki… Orð… Fœra á Dauðadagr… Dóttir ór Vætr… Ginnungagap… Atila-Ira… Mǫgr Yðarr... Ragnarök…’
Most of the text had fade and she knew not to interpret it without knowing fully what was written between the words she could make out, but a shiver ran through her…
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom… Speaker (or Words)… Bringer of Death-day… Daughter of Vaetr (Nothingness – Void)… Yawning Void … Atila-Ira… Kindred of You… Fate of the gods…
(Why do I fear these words so?)
Stepping further into the ruins into a great hall, a throne at it’s very end stood barren with the text ‘Freyja, possessor of the fallen slain and of Sessrúmnir.’ Written in a fancy script.
Stepping closer, a scroll was laid upon the throne.
“VE 20 : Chaos now corrupts these lands, our heroes have fallen. Even the new gods fear an End greater than Ragnarök. Yggdrasil has sealed away our Paradise through Odin’s last will.
VE 23 : I fear all of our Paradise will soon be lost only Chaos has slipped past even Yggdrasil’s seal to the rest of the Worlds even our own…
VE : Laufeia, what cruel fate you have placed upon the children of Ginnungagap. You have doomed us all…”
Arialita feared what the rest said, she ran as fast she could as far as she could…
The group was instantly transported to Clou’neer, were Shadow then lead them to the Shinto Temple that could be seen standing alone in the center of the city. No living being could be seen wondering the streets, not even live seemed to stir within the homes.
“We need to get to the temple, the priestess there will be able to help us.”
It didn’t take them long to reach the temple, but when they did they could hear a man scream.
“Gordon… That’s his voice I’d recognize it anywhere.” Will informed them. Trying to be as still as possible, they sneaked into the temple and found Gordon choking the life out of a girl with snow white silvery hair, with fox like ears and a tail.
“That’s the priestess!” Shadow hissed in anger.
“I want to get to the girl either you take me or I’ll destroy your whole world!” Gordon threatened.
“My world has long since been destroyed by Chaos’ desire for power, the power of the twins!” A silky voice spoke.
“I swear it upon my Master, I’ll not spare your life!”
“Gordon!” Will gave up his position.
“She doesn’t know where she is!” Will spoke up bravely just as Gordon grabbed the Priestess.
“How did you get here? There’s no Rifts to this place!” Gordon’s eyes seemed to bulge in anger.
“Doesn’t mean there isn’t a way. Just leave her alone!” Will bravery was idiotic, but at least he had let go of his grip on the Priestess.
“Only if you then take me to my Heart!” He ordered more than asked.
“She’s nothing of you!” Will shouted out with as much venom he could muster.
“Oh, but she is. Our Master, My Mother and hers has said so herself, it’s only in this dimension that the reality has been warped and has stripped us from who we truly were meant to be.”
“There is no other reality, Gordon!” Shadow interrupted, already having an idea what was going on.
“But we can take you to where we think she is, you should wait outside though.” Shadow went on.
“I’m staying right here!”
“it is not like we can just disappear and even if we could, do you honestly believe we would leave the Priestess here unable to leave the shrine, this temple, and allow you to stay here when you just now threatened to kill her?” Shadow wasn’t about to give up on him convincing Gordon to leave the shrine for the time being.
“Fine!” Truly Gordon was as a small child still.
“Priestess! Are you hurt?” Shadow embraced the lady who stood tall and slender in front of them.
“I’m fine Shadow. You shouldn’t worry so much!” She embraced him tenderly.
“I must! you are after all the last of the Vulpines…”
“Wait! She’s the last?” A nod confirmed it.
“Luna, seeing as even he is looking for the same girl these Guardians are, I presume she isn’t here?”
“No, she is here just not in mind… She’s at the Yggdrasil’s Doors, in the Dream… Asgard was but one of the first to fall to Chaos. She might be wondering the Gardens there she might if she went there on her own accord, by her own power be able to travel past al of Yggdrasil’s Doors that was created to try and hold Chaos from the rest of the land, Valhalla to Fólkvangr… they were all once connected, but after Chaos escaped, Yggdrasil sealed of Fólkvangr from Valhalla and then Valhalla from the city of Asgard, but it was all in vein… Chaos was able to pass through using Yggdrasil as its medium… Yggdrasil has ‘Doors’ on every world and I could sense Chaos’ influence in that man, Gordon… He must have found one of Yggdrasil’s Doors…”
“But why would she be able to go there… Yggdrasil won’t allow any access to Asgard if not through the ‘Doors’ you speak off?”
“She must then be a child of the Void… You can find some reference of it in the Norse Mythology… and Others…”
“Do you know how we can get there?” Will interrupted.
“This shrine was built around one of Yggdrasil’s Doors chaos hasn’t yet broken through its seal yet, but how to open it you’ll have to figure it out on your own. “ It was clear Luna was hiding something.
“Luna… What will happen if we open that door?” Shadow asked already able to guess.
“Chaos…” She seemed distracted as if already able to see the destruction that will follow.
“It’s the reason why from your Worlds this place, my world looks like a ruin, we’re currently trapped in time far into the past…” Mira finally understood why there is still at least one Vulpine alive…
“There has to be some other way!”
“No, Shadow, there has never been another way… You must awaken her from the Dream bring her mind back to here by opening the Door.”
“Come with us then!”
“I can’t. As Priestess I’m bound to this place, I can never leave… Just as I will never age even when time starts to flow for this place I’ll always be as I am now…” She carried such a saddened look that day, breaking the news to Shadow of her fate.
“Then we’ll find some other way.” Lorenzo suggested and despite all Will agreed, even he did not want to place Luna in harm’s way for selfishly rescuing Arialita…
“Do you know where we can find another door?”
“No, I do not.”
“Then we’ll find another way. I just need to know if she’ll be able to remain safe where she is?” Will asked, his voice filled with concern.
“As long as she stays away from the Eastern part of the Garden, then she should be safe. The people who lived there were long ago wiped away from history only Myths still surround them.”
“What’s in the East?”
“As in the wolf of the gods?” Mira seemed surprised.
“The wolf who kills gods…” Luna corrected.
“We have to hurry!” Will turned to walk out when Luna stopped him.
“You should use Yggdrasil’s Door here, I’ve lived for far too long. I’m all alone here, I failed my People once, but maybe I’ll be able to help you save the girl you love… She’s all grown up now… She was in the Vexies World before she transported herself out after escaping their own dream world. Go and leave that man, Gordon, here” Luna whispered in his ear not wanting Shadow to be in distress over her words.
“But he will kill you…”
“Not before Chaos destroys this world.”
“Shadow! He loves…” she placed her hand over his mouth.
“Ssshhh… Yes and that is why I can’t let him continue worrying about me; he’ll never let go so I’ll make the choice for him. Look how Leer looks at him out of the corner of her eyes… She loves him, and though he doesn’t know it so does he!” Her voice was calm and indeed when he looked around he could see her glance towards Shadow.
“She’ll never forgive me for using one person’s live to get to her.” Will wanted to find some other way, desperate as he was he knew what it meant if she was to die… A whole world gone within a moment, all because of another threat…
“What exactly is chaos?”
“The End… Ragnarök…”
“Yes, another prophesy told already since decades ago by the Vikings, and the gods they served… A lot of people and worlds have already been destroyed… The End of all the Realms are almost upon us… Cruel is the fate for the Children of the Void, Ginnungagap, for Laufeia hated the gods, they had taken her son… Loki… she herself a half goddess not knowing… seeked destruction upon them and cursed Ginnungagap, to give raise to Chaos, but Baldr, before his death also gave a gift to him, he would have twins, they would hold the power of light and darkness Preventing Chaos from feeding of the imbalance and growing stronger. Only they would be able to safe the worlds, but if they both should fall, they will bring with them the Day of Death… a new Ragnarök… Though Ragnarök is already over and Baldr reborn and no longer of the Light, having been corrupted by the threat that thrived and came alive during that time and seeks to bring about a new Ragnarök, Chaos. The king of the Void had exiled one of the twins, to live amongst the people in another realm. Chaos already showing signs of taking over the world, only the twin of light held Chaos back, giving new strength to the suns with each passing year… Untill her brother seeking vengeance destroyed the source from which she gained her power, killing her and creating further imbalance, Chaos grew stronger as well as the twin brother of that was in possession of the power of the Darkness… Your friend, she’s one of our last hopes… Save her… She has some light inside of her!” With a nod of understanding he turned to the group and walked straight past them.
“I told him there is one other way to save this world… The girl you seek, Arialita, she has some power to stop Chaos. She like me has power over time she can restore the worlds as it was meant to be, before Chaos’ existence…”
“Luna… You’ll die…”
“Only for a moment in time… Shadow… I was never meant to live and yet here I am… Chaos has already taken away so much… It… She must be stopped! My whole Realm was destroyed by it… There were Nine, only five still exist… Three you all know of… Shadow please go with them leave with them I’ll keep Gordon from going after you.”
“Luna… I promise we’ll save you somehow!”
“Try, but do not regret it if it doesn’t happen within your life time! Go now!” Just then a door opened behind them, a staircase leading them down.
When they reached the end of the staircase a massive Door stood in the center of a wide spacious room. Roots stemmed from its base and stretched far and wide creating matted surface were upon they stood. There trapped by veins and roots was a young woman…
“Lita..” Will Whispered.
“How do we open it?” Shadow asked.
“There has to be something… Like how the different Rift to Weiss is open through various methods, mostly by use of the ever changing rune…”
Upon reaching the other ruin the one she thought larger than that of what she figured was once called Sessrúmnir, she finally knew where she was… the Connected worlds of Asgard, Valhalla, Fólkvangr and Hell…
(“I’ve always know nthese things when others spoke of what they ate for breakfast, I’ve always known why the world was falling apart all around me…”)
“Welcome child…” A voice echoed sweet and strong.
“Who are you? Where are you?”
“You of all beings should know very well who I am as well as where.” For a moment Arialita stood frozen in thought.
“Yes. Why are you here, child of Ginnungagap? Have you come to fulfill on Baldr’s words to you or have you fallen?”
“Words to me? Fallen?”
“Ah. I see you have destroyed your memories. Not once, not twice, but too many time to count! Why, I wonder?”
“You’re not here, are you? You’re in Asgard, this is Valhalla, but still a part of Asgard. You exist wherever your roots sprout… The World tree… You connect all the Realms and Worlds… But you’re not the only one… The Rifts and Gates…”
“Yes, there are six means to travel. The Rifts were created by Chaos, at first they were just tears in the fabric of space, created before Chaos became as she is… She was once to be the Queen of the Void! The Gates were created by the Eternal Priestess of the Vulpines… To lead her people to a world not yet touched by Chaos, but she failed to realize that her actions only gave more strength to Chaos. Using my roots… as one means… I have Doors everywhere people can take to and get to and from Asgard… Though only the gods knew how to use my Doors… You must open it from here this dream world… There are people that need to get here… or rather needs to get you here, before you die.”
“If your mind and body remain separated you will die, and Chaos would claim yet another Realm!”
“I see… What was the other means of travel, you mentioned six.”
“Besides Portals which you should know of by now there is the Aurora Bridges, or Bifröst as the Asgardians called it. You can see them especially in Greenland, Iceland, Finland… mostly back on your birth World, Earth…”
“Then why can’t we travel on them?”
“Heimdallr was the keeper, When Chaos claimed the first of the Realms, and he destroyed the Bifröst to keep Chaos from corrupting even that… Then there is what the twins could do and you as well, teleport or rather Sift, you can manifest yourself anywhere, as long as you have a connetion to the place you Sift to, as Asgard was long ago destroyed you only came here by dream, but do remember the threats here are still very real.”
“You said that I needed to open one of your Doors, but why do you not just open it yourself for me?”
“I had long since sealed my Doors, before Chaos was a threat and it was Odin’s last words with me before he was killed during Ragnarök, to protect the Realms… But I fear I could only delay their destruction… I was afraid to fall along with the fall of Asgard and made it so that no one can open my Doors using me a their puppet, though thanks to them I’m the only one that continued to live, but the stronger Chaos becomes the weaker they become, the weaker I…”
“How then do I open it?”
“Sing, I’ll try to keep too much of Chaos from slipping through.”
“What must I sing?”
“The words inscribed at Urd’s Well. The goddesses that take care of me and weave the threads of fate there can tell you more… You should know the way…” A nod agreed to Yggdrasil’s words.
Heading out of Valhalla’s halls and towards the Tree that stood at the horizon’s edge, Arialita could have sworn the darkness that loomed far to the east was getting closer…
Reaching the tree seemed to take forever, but seeing Yggdrasil up close was something else to behold… It was at the very center of Asgard! Stretching far up into the sky! Homes were built, running up its thick trunk. What once might have been a Palace stood at its very base and yet it did not take from Yggdrasil’s appearance, that of a tree... walking through Asgard was as a dream… A dream with in a dream. Taking it slow, Arialita could get the chance to see the history of the once glorious race that was looked upon as gods…
Reaching the inner sanctum of the tree, inside a hollowed out part of the tree a meadow stood stretching before her, only then did she truly realize how large Yggdrasil was. In the far corner was a well three women sitting there weaving still… The only live she had found other than the animals in the Garden…
“Yes child, what is it?” The eldest of them spoke, her voice calm and calculating.
“Yggdrasil told me to open a Door and that the inscription on the well of Urd is what I should sing… That if I have doubts you would be able to answer…” The gentler looking woman of the three finally looked up to her.
“You were able to hear Yggdrasil’s voice? He has been quite for so long… You must be one of Baldr’s Gifts! Though we know all of the fates of the world, being along with the Lady Kala of the first Prophets, we are unable to see you… Only through others we can glance at your future, but not ‘see’ you… Baldr’s Gift… have you fallen?”
“Yggdrasil has asked the same… What does it mean?”
“Will you save the Realms or will you be the cause for its End?”
“I don’t wish for any harm on anyone… But doubt I can do anything to stop this Chaos you speak of or save the Realms!”
“You underestimate yourself. You are to us Baldr’s Gift. To the Greek you are Apollo’s Gift and to the Egyptians you are the Gift from Horus. Just as you are a child of the Void, of Ginnungagap to us, Quetzalcoatl to the Aztecs and Nu from, again, the Egyptian believes. You are of Chaos and Vaetr. You are of the Light, Gifted by none, you are unbound to the laws of all Realms and Worlds. You might have lost something important in coming here… But don’t lose sight of your heart! Do not fall Arialita!” The more carefree of the three woman held wisdom she still had to grow into.
Standing up, the first removed from in front of the well a panel that was meant as decoration to hide the words to opening the sealed Doors.
“Sing it and go wait atop the hill that connects the East to the West and North to the South, that connects all of Asgard.” She said in a prophetic voice.
“May I have your names?”
“Skuld.” They answered in turn. With a bow of politeness she started to sing the inscription. It was a beautiful Verse, unlike anything she sung before… Her voice was silky smooth… But something was lacking…
“How are we to open this Door?” Will said frustrated they had been trying everything they possibly could to open it. Running themselves into it was also one of their many failures…
Will had tried freeing Arialita’s limp body from the tangled, strangling vines.
“Something is happening!” Shadow noted as a slight light shimmered in between the cracks of the Door…
Slowly the door opened, light poured from it, and for a moment it reminded the Guardians of when they had given their Vows…
Lita’s body dropped from its position, as the veins vanished to nothingness and Will catching her just in time.
“Let’s go.” Haward said in haste. One for one they passed through the Door, not noticing the dark mist that swallowed the light pouring out of the Door that was now behind them…
Sitting in a patch not laden with Cosmos flowers, Arialita watched as the Darkness crept ever closer from the east as if it had a mind of its own… A cold ran up and down her spine just as she thought she heard a monstrous howl far in the distance…
(“What did they mean when they said I might have lost something precious when I came here? Might it be the gaps in my memory? I remember meeting Snow and Lightning in a cold cave, it was snowing outside, my memories start from there, apparently a Verse I sung destroyed my memories from before then. I remember the town filled with Demons when I met Stein, and the others. I remember waking up after that and meeting Caleb, I even remember Will and Haward still…”) Then it struck her… She had felt hollow before meeting Will and still a gap shrouded her heart until she saw Haward… Now that she thought hard about it, she felt nothing! No joy, no sorrow, no love, no fear ; at least no as she remember the feelings to feel.
(“I’m a monster…”) No emotions ran through her veins! No Hope… No despair… No care… Not even a need to feel these things…
“Lita…” She turned to see Will and the others along with new company. Seeing her, those that knew her better, could not believe that the girl that stood in front of them was the same ten year old that vanished from the Vowing Ceremony when Gordon had attacked. She had grown, she appeared about fifteen now. But they weren’t looking at her, they were looking at her sleeping form that laid lifeless in Will’s arms.
“Will…” She tried to feel something anything… but the feeling of death rolling in from the East… was all she did feel.
“Lita… Why isn’t she waking up? Luna said she would once we brought her body here…” Will sounded as if his only hope was dying…
“Come on we need to find a way back now!” Shadow said hastily as soon as he saw the black mist nearing them.
“We can head back on the broken Bifröst. I can fix it temporally just to get on it… If it is to be fixed completely, if we don’t break it more than it already is Chaos will seep into the remaining Realms, corrupt the Worlds faster than currently.” She spoke almost inaudible, but no sound reached them.
(“You must reunite with yourself… or You will die…”) She could here Yggdrasil’s voice in her mind…
“Lita… Are you alright?” The concern evident in Will voice had Arialita look at him, and he could she her bleak expressionless voice…
Slowly she went to touch her forehead, her hand moving right through…
“Where do we go?” Mira asked, pointing out the collapsing horizon all around them.
“Lita…” Will whispered, knowing only if she was awake she would have known how to get out of this world…
“I’ve never told you how I feel about you… And I fear it might be too late now… But I love you…” A single tear rolled down her cheeks.
(“For you, Will, I’ll live!”) Arialita tried again to connect with her body…
With a heavy feeling suppressing her, Arialita slowly opened her eyes…
“Will… Everyone…” She managed to say. She lifted her hands towards the sky, where the only light still remained and with a burst of soft pastel colors, a bridge formed before the group.
Haward looked at the Mist that seemed to gain speed.
“Let us go then before it catches up with us, I do believe Fenrir is within that mist.” Haward called out.
It only took them a thought and they were crossing the bridge, the bridge shattering behind them as they went. Soon they reached the end where it would split off and as they watched Arialita swipe her wrist in gesture, the bridges shattered to every other direction.
“The remaining is to Earth. Once we reach there I’ll shatter it as well.” She spoke, Will still carrying her, as she had little strength to walk by herself.
One step forward and the group found themselves tumbling on hard ground. Light danced overhead… The Northern Lights… As soon as they grasped where they were they saw the Bridge that made up the Northern Lights shatter, the fragments splintering the lights and what they then thought would bring an end to that beauty made it even more so, light reflected of light and it was beautiful!
“We’re back…” Shadow saw, the giant tree they first went to Clou’neer and went to touch it… Nothing… No life pulsed through the tree…
“She’s gone…” Tears ebbed, but was forced down. Everyone felt the loss…
A growl alerted the group of Snow’s presence and finally noticed Lightning flying circles.
“There’s trouble!” Arialita held her hand up in the air and caught a piece of the fragmented Bifröst bridge before it could hit the ground. It sparked and deformed as it reformed itself into a long thin blade.
“Thank you Snow! Thank you Lightning! For waiting!” She said and smiled before handing Will the blade… Even they could sense that she was no longer a ‘person’… Her smile not as full of life as it once was…
“Rest now…” Will placed her gently against the tree as the Demons neared.